Ernie Barnes, 1938-2009

Ernie Barnes died on April 27 in California. Born on July 15, 1938, in Durham, North Carolina, Barnes played football at North Carolina Central University and then for several years in the pros. He is most famous, however, for his work as an artist. If you remember the ABC television series “Good Times” (which ran from 1974 to 1979), then you probably remember one of his more famous paintings, “Sugar Shack.”

The UNC Library has several items related to Barnes, including the following:

From pads to palette : Ernie Barnes / text and illustrations by Ernie Barnes. Waco, Tex. : WRS Pub., 1995.

Ernie Barnes : a twentieth century genre painter.

The beauty of the ghetto : an exhibition of neo-mannerist paintings / by Ernie Barnes.

Impossible dreams made possible : June 20-July 11, 1992.

The image accompanying this entry comes from two folders of ephemera that the North Carolina Collection maintains on Barnes. The catalog record for this material can be found at:

[Ephemera on North Carolina artists] Part 1 of 2: Artists: B.

Barnes’s work is copyrighted, so I’m only showing a very small, low-resolution image on this page. You can visit the following page for more information on Barnes and digital images of some of his more famous works: www.erniebarnes.com

One thought on “Ernie Barnes, 1938-2009”

  1. WE ARE PROUD OF ARTIST LIKE ERNIE BARNES(SUGAR SHACK, THE GRADUATE) PAINT-
    INGS AND OTHERS ARTIST SUCH AS JOHNS BIGGERS(TEXAS SOUTHERN UNIVERSITY)
    PAINTER, WILLIAM TOLLIVER, ROMARE BEARDEN(SHEBA, PIANO, BEFORE DAWN).
    THE CONTRIBUTIONS OF MR. BARNES AND A LIST OF OTHER AFRICAN AMERICAN ARTIST
    HAS CONTRIBUTE GREATLY TO THE THEATER AND TELEVISION MEDIA. ROMARE BEARDEN
    ART WORK IS PROMINENTLY FEATURED IN CHARLOTTE NORTH CAROLINA. WILLIAM TOLLIVER WORK HAS IN A KHANDISKY WATER COLOR STYLE. ERNIE BARNES WORK CAN BE VIEW AT THE ART GALLERY ON THE CAMPUS OF NORTH CAROLINA CENTRAL
    UNIVERSITY ON LAWSON STREET IN DURHAM NORTH CAROLINA.

    NCCU-ALUMNI

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